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D&D (2024) Return to the 3 saves for 1D&D?

while it could be a hassle for 1st session, I think that everyone would switch fast;

str->fort
dex->ref
con->fort
int->will
wis->will
cha->will

I fight the poison with my fists...
no thanks


Rather lump con and cha together. Physical and Mental fortitude. Then Dex and Str for reflexes and power to withstand or bypass force.
And Wis and Int for escaping attacks on your mind.

Still a bit forced, bit better than str and con together.
I would even say, if you put str and con in the same saving throw, you could as well ditch con altogether, as con's signature feature is endurance of your body even if you might be physically weak.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
So, what are the design points of 5e saves?

1. PCs are strong is about 1/3 of their saves. Foes with varied attack types will sometimes match and sometimes bypass their strengths.

2. Foes are usually good on 1-4 saves, sort of based on epicness. So PCs who are focused around the same sort of saves (like bards) will find themselves good against some types of foes and poor against others. Classes with wide spell list have the meaningful choice of going for "the best" spells, or going for spells with a wide variety of saving throws even if they have overlap in effect (like AoE damage) to hunt for poor saves.

3. The three "strong" saves are the most commonly saved against, and include: The already most powerful ability score, the useful-for-everyone ability score, and another ability score that does happen to have the most common skill associated with it.

The first two points I find as valuable, the last one I find as counterproductive.

Moving to the 4e save (not "classic" saves) weakens #2, and strengthens #3. These are both moves in the wrong direction, so are arguably worse than the current system.
I would disagree with your 3rd point. I find Dexterity to be the most powerful ability score and Wisdom to be important due to how often perception is used. Constitution though, the third "strong save" is just not that important other than the save.

Constitution is an important save, but I don't see it as being a particularly important ability. Class and build notwithstading, if not for being a strong save I would put it behind Dexterity, Wisdom and Charisma for most characters and roughly equal to intelligence. The save is what makes it important IMO.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I have to disagree.

1. The 5e balance only holds true at low levels. Saving throw scaling is very bad, so saves cannot keep up with DCs.
At first level a typical PC will have 2 good saves it can pass with an 8 or so, another couple of decent saves where it gets a 50/50 shot, and one or two bad saves where a 13 or 14 is needed.

At level 20, the PC will usually still have two good saves (if they invested a lot in straight +2 ASIs, that is), and maybe another decent 50/50 save if they also took the Resilient Focus feat, but all other saves will be terrible, needing a roll of 18, 19 or 20 to succeed.

But at higher levels PCs are going to have spells, abilities and immunities that either make them immune to many of the things you would need to save against or get advantage on those saves.

Take a Ranger for example - Nature's veil means he can make him immune to any effect the enemy needs to "see" you with for a lot of enemies. 1st level spells like fog cloud can do the same.


2. 5e monsters are usually written to be complete trash at saves. Even most (supposedly) legendary monsters would be easily bypassed, if it weren't for their (IMO) inelegant but absolutely necessary Legendary Resistance feature. So, I disagree that 5e handles monster saves well: in fact, I believe it does very poorly.

I don't think this is true either. Aside from LR many legendary monsters have good/great saves.

A CR17 adult Red Dragon for example is +8S, +6D, +13C, +7Wis, +3Int, +11CH

That means against a level 15 PC with a 20 ability (DC18) he needs a 12 or less for every save except intelligence (where he needs a 15).

A CR 13 Beholder has S0, D2, C4, I8, W7, CH8. So he makes all the mind saves on a 10 or 11 against that 15th level PC, and while his physical saves are not good he also is only a CR13 monster you are putting up agaist a 15th-level character with a max ability score.

Add in magic resistance, fey immunity/advantage, poison immunity and the abnormally high wisdom scores for many monsters and you have monsters making saves quite often.
 

I would disagree with your 3rd point. I find Dexterity to be the most powerful ability score and Wisdom to be important due to how often perception is used. Constitution though, the third "strong save" is just not that important other than the save.

Constitution is an important save, but I don't see it as being a particularly important ability. Class and build notwithstading, if not for being a strong save I would put it behind Dexterity, Wisdom and Charisma for most characters and roughly equal to intelligence. The save is what makes it important IMO.

Depnding on class, con is way more useful than dex.

Con saves help you resist poisons that give you the poisoned condition or keep up concentration. Wisdom saving throws can also easily take you out of combat.

All a dex save does in many cases is reducing damage of a spell by 50%.

Lets take fireball against you at level 5 as probably the best example of a damage spell:

When you can chose between Con 16, Dex 10 and Dex 16, Con 10, we are speaking about a difference of 3 hp per level which is 15 hp at level 5.

Fireball does 28 damage on average, 14 on a successful save so you shrug of the extra damage of the first fireball with your extra hp. Your chances to save are just 15% lower. I'd take con everyday over dex.
 


ECMO3

Hero
Con saves help you resist poisons that give you the poisoned condition or keep up concentration. Wisdom saving throws can also easily take you out of combat.

Only on a saving throw as far as I know. Being a Dwarf gives you resistance, but as far as I know there is no benefit to constitution and poision other than the saving throw.

When I pointed out Con was not that useful I stipulated it is not that important "other than the save"

I think his point was Constitution was one of the three skills you want anyway and that was not a good design because it makes the already important traits even more important by making them strong saves (it is possible I misunderstood his point).
 

Only on a saving throw as far as I know. Being a Dwarf gives you resistance, but as far as I know there is no benefit to constitution and poision other than the saving throw.

When I pointed out Con was not that useful I stipulated it is not that important "other than the save"

I think his point was Constitution was one of the three skills you want anyway and that was not a good design because it makes the already important traits even more important by making them strong saves (it is possible I misunderstood his point).
Then I misunderstood you. But still 15 extra hp are a lot. So con has a very important role.
 


RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
I think saving throws should be different based on what they're in response to. Like, I don't know, say, "dragon's breath," "spells," etc. We could have, like, five or six, and the numbers could change every few levels to make it easier and show progress. I think that would be a pretty unique and new way to do it!
 

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